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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

will. We have still before us an unsettled Russian-Polish problem, I
think it can still be settled, but it will only be dealt with effectively if Great
Britain is prepared to raise her voice as she has done in the past as a great
supporter of international morality and honourable dealing. May I remind
the Foreign Secretary of words spoken 100 years ago by a Foreign Secretary,
perhaps even greater than he is, Lord Palmerston.
' I hold that the real policy of England is to be. the champion of justice
and right.    As long as England keeps herself in. the right;, as long as she
wishes to permit no injustice, as long as she sympathises with right and
justice, she will never find herself altogether alone.3
Mr, Pickthorn (Cambridge University, Conservative^) : " This has been
so far a very sad Debate . . . We have been warned by one former speaker
not to say anything that might make things more difficult for Poland... On
every previous occasion on which this matter has been discussed, we have
been warned by His Majesty's Government, by The Times and by other
superior persons and institutions to be very careful not to say anything that
would do harm ... I think we have been so careful not to say things that
might do harm;, that we have slipped into the opposite error, the error of
keeping quiet about things about which public ignorance does harm . .. The
Prime Minister quoted for us to-day the speech which he made on 22nd
February ... In this speech he said : * It was with great pleasure that I
heard from Marshal Stalin that he, too, was resolved upon the creation and
maintenance of a strong, integral., independent Poland as one of the leading
Powers in Europe/    I have never known very clearly what ' integral'
means, but { strong * and * independent' are words which most of us can
understand.    The  Prime  Minister went on to  say that His Majesty's
Government adhered to the principle that territorial changes should be
reserved for the permanent peace settlement.    But he made it very difficult
for anybody to believe that the principle would be very effective when he
said : ' We did not approve of the Polish occupation of Wilno in 1920.    The
British view in 1919 stands expressed in the so-called Curzon Line.'    I think
that the Prime Minister's history is mistaken on that point.    I do not think
the Curzon Line does express what had been the British view as to the
permanent frontier.    But that I would not urge, all I am saying is that the
Prime Minister on 22nd February, by stating this principle in regard to
territorial changes, indicated that it was to be expected that when those
changes did happen, they would be the changes desired by one side and not
any change that might be suggested by the other.    It did rather whittle
away that principle ... I do not wish to argue where the frontiers ought to
be of Poland.    For all I have to say to the contrary the Eastern frontier of
Poland should be the Chilterns and the Western frontier the Alleghanies;
but I beg hon. Members, and especially Members on the Government Front
Bench, not to use the argument against  us   that this country has never
guaranteed any specific frontier.    If anybody ever guaranteed the British
Isles or the British State, it would be taken to guarantee its boundaries at
the time of the guarantee.    If, at the time of the guarantee to Poland, there
was any secret proviso either that the guarantee was to work or that it was
not to work in circumstances not then immediately contemplated, I think
the time has come when the Foreign Secretary ought to tell us about it.    If
there was not any such secret proviso, I hope we shall never again hear any
argument about our not guaranteeing any specific frontier.
" On the specific-frontier point and on the guarantee point, I should like
to ask the Foreign Secretary another question. The Prime Minister,
speaking in this House, said to us the other day that it was to be hoped that
there would be a guarantee from the three great Powers. e It is certainly
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